Monday, June 24, 2013

Winter Solstice 2013

Moon Rising 5pm ish

Each year we try to do a small celebration for winter solstice ~ the shortest day of the year.

See previous here:  2012   2011   2010  2008

I think this year we ended up focused on the longest night of the year...

We've been sick!!

Slowly spreading through everyone it seems we've been snuggling up all week.

We've spent the shortest days of the year stuck in the house!

Which is kinda fitting I suppose.

On the actual shortest day of the year it was rainy and miserable so no usual sunset watching for us.

We ended up photographing the moon instead.

 moon with ring around it through my window and caught our inside reflection in it too
We finished up school, grabbed takeout and had a movie marathon starting with Calamity Jane.
The dear Mr returned from business far away and looked after us sickies so well.
He made us Rhubarb and custard {been years!!} and pancakes and eggs and cooked and cleaned and tucked us all in. Just what we needed.
And two days later we've had our first fire of the season!!
What's a few seconds in the scheme of seasons? {today is 5 seconds more of daylight than Friday}
The third shortest day of the year is also a mighty fine time to celebrate too I say!
Did you do anything fun for Solstice?
Shhhh  its not to late to do something now, its still within the week of the shortest day of the year :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

FHE Lesson {Holy Ghost}

Opening Song: I know my Father Lives #5

Opening Prayer:

Article of Faith:  #1


softly sing   Listen Listen #107

Listen to the Still Small Voice,
Listen, Listen.
When you have to make a choice,
He will guide you, always.

Ask if they know what song this is? Who is it about?

As God's children left their home in heaven with him to come to earth to our families, the memory of living with Heavenly Father is taken from us. Heavenly Father did not want us to be alone so he sent The Holy Ghost to comfort and guide us.

The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead, a personage of spirit, knows all things, and is known by many names. The Holy Ghost has a variety of roles including witnessing of the Father and His Son, revealing the truth, cleansing sins, and giving us comfort and peace.

Holy Ghost Booklet from Mormon Share

Memorise First Article of Faith

Using a torch (flashlight) or lamp as Holy Ghost.
Inside a room, turn out all the lights. Turn on the torch and show the light can show us the way and to help us see in the darkness. This is what the Holy Ghost can do for us.

 Using a favourite blanket
A favourite blanket can give us comfort when we are cold, sick or scared.
Like a blanket the Holy Ghost can comfort us so we never need to be alone

Closing Song: The still small voice #106

Closing Prayer:


Sunday, June 16, 2013

FHE Lesson {Jesus, John and Baptism}

This is part of a series on Preparing for Baptism

Opening Song: Baptism #100

Scripture: This lesson based on Matthew 3. Have Scriptures for visual.


John the Baptist taught in the wilderness. He told the people to repent.
He wore clothes made of camel hair and ate locusts and honey.
(Allow children to put on a wool coat/jacket or something similar)
Show picture of John Gospel Art Picture Kit #207

Jesus came to John to be baptised. John was surprised. He thought Jesus should baptise him. He knew Jesus was perfect and didn’t think he would need to be baptised. Jesus said it was a commandment from God and he wanted to obey. John baptised Jesus in the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit descended as a dove and God spoke from Heaven saying “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”

Show picture of the baptism Gospel Art Picture Kit picture 208

Watch:  Baptism of Jesus Bible Video

Do a dove craft.
Go here for LOTS of dove crafts.

Closing Song: When Jesus Christ was Baptized #102

Closing Prayer:

Treat: Honeycomb

Sunday, June 9, 2013

FHE Lesson {Preparing for Baptism}

As we have a soon to be 7 year old - a few lessons will focus on the topic of preparing for Baptism in the coming year. We like to use baptism based lessons for the year leading up to 8 for FHE. I will probably include one a month for those who want to follow along.

Opening Prayer:

Article of Faith: #4

Music Time:
When I am Baptized #103
When Jesus Christ was Baptized #102
I like my Birthdays #104
The Fourth Article of Faith #124

Play these songs and get children to guess the topic
{We have two already baptized children so will display their baptism dresses too for visual}

Can you guess what we will be learning about tonight?

What is Baptism?

The friend Magazine is excellent for making FHE lessons from. Always good ideas.

Understanding Baptism is the middle page excerpt from the July 2013 Friend. see here

Using the poster from the Friend magazine ask and answer the questions listed:

Who will Baptise me?
Whoever baptizes you needs to hold the priesthood —the power to act in the name of God. When Jesus wanted to be baptized, He went to John the Baptist, who had the priesthood (see Matthew 3:13)
Do I have to go under water to be baptized?
Jesus was baptized by immersion, which means He went completely under the water and quickly came back up again (see Matthew 3:16). This is how you will be baptized. Being baptized this way reminds us that we are leaving behind our old life and starting a new life dedicated to serving God and His children.
Right before you go under the water, you’ll pinch your nose to keep the water out. It only takes about 11/2 seconds to go under and come back up.
Why do I have to be atleast 8 years old?
The Lord teaches that children shouldn’t be baptized until they are old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong. The scriptures say this is age eight (see Moroni 8:11–12; D&C 29:46–47; 68:27).
What Promises do I make when I am baptized?
When you are baptized, you make a covenant, or two-way promise, with Heavenly Father. You promise Him that you will do certain things, and He promises to bless you. This covenant is described in the sacrament prayers that are said each Sunday (see D&C 20:77–79). You promise

• To remember Jesus Christ.

• To keep His commandments.

• To take upon yourself the name of Christ, which means to put His work first in your life and do what He wants instead of what the world wants.

As you keep these promises, Heavenly Father promises that the Holy Ghost will be with you and that your sins will be forgiven.

Ask if they have any other questions about being Baptized.

This fun idea came from SugarDoodle
You will need a doll and some peanut butter:
Talk about how the girl/boy came to earth and she/he was innocent and pure. But along the way everyone makes mistakes and will sin. No one is perfect. They may lie to their brother or sister, be unkind, he may be disobedient to his parents.  (List sins if you want)

Slab some peanut butter on the doll for each sin. Explain that the peanut butter represents sin. Wouldn't it be awful to have to go through life covered in sin/peanut butter? Then explain that Jesus Christ has provided a way for us to be clean and whole again.

When you are baptized 1. You will become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. and 2. Your sins will be washed away today and you will receive the Holy Ghost. This paper towel represents your baptism. Wipe all of the peanut butter off. (or use a bucket/bath with water) Not only will you have to opportunity to be made clean today but every Sunday when you partake of the sacrament you will be able to renew that same covenant, that same gift that your sins can be washed away. When you sin and you will because you are human you can use this paper towel each week. Your baptism is a special gift to you. (Idea by Judie Hadlock)

Closing Song:

Closing Prayer:

Treat: Number 8 Cookies 
or you could try making #8 pancakes
or using sprinkles to  make an 8 shape on top of cupcakes, iced biscuits, toast, anything!)

Lesson for Small Children:
Show the picture of Jesus being baptized found here
Show picture of your baptism day or show a baptism dress/clothes if you have
Talk about how being baptized is going under the water to wash away your sins.
Then you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and you are a member of the church of Jesus Christ.
Each Sunday the bread and water in Sacrament is to remind us of our promises made to God.
Jesus set the example by being baptized and so should we.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Preparing for Winter

Is it just me or does the sky seem clearer and bluer in winter.

I just love it.

Perhaps it is because its not burning hot and I can actually look up without searing an eyeball.

{I penned this last week and its been cloudy ever since!! ... and I just read that we are in for our wettest winter in a long time. What? Winter here is crystal clear blue skies usually!!}

{see last years blue post}

Whatever it is - winter here can be just delightful. I'm going to try my best to revel in it.

Ever since I started reading Soulemama I've tried to be more aware of the seasons.
It can be sort of hard here as there isn't much physical change in seasons.

I notice they don't complain about seasons (too hot, cold, rainy, humid, snowy whatever) but embrace and enjoy what the year has to offer. Good thinking. I am going to try ever so hard to refrain from complaining about the weather on facebook :)

I also remembered a quote I read over at Design Mom used by Europeans.
'That there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing'

So I have decided to prepare early for winter to welcome it in.

I surrender and I await you with eagerness dear Winter!!

:: We got a heater! A Mothers Day Gift!!

:: I'm sorting out my wardrobe.
 I decided to try and make 6 'winter uniforms' from my collection of clothes. And put them up front of the cupboard. Now I know my choices will be warm and easy to find.

Bought my first thermals and all I can say is why did I wait this long?!

:: Scarves.
I have a few but only 2 pashmina style ones. Must buy another. Blue and Yellow Please!
In the last few weeks my wide scarf has been a blanket at the hospital, a blanket for a sleeping child at church, a protection from rain, cover from the wind, a game to pull me along (to trick a child to keep walking!), a pillow to rest my head, always scrunched waiting in my handbag when needed.

:: Rice Bags
Making a few replacement rice bags. Each year one or two have to be retired from our collection {each person has one or two} And a few to give away - our student included. I love to pop a warm rice bag in bed a few mins before hopping in. Ahhhhh bliss!

:: Submit to cooking.
I do like cooking but even the best of us get over it sometimes. Winter is not the time. Take time to enjoy slowcooking, making rustic bread to go with most meals, leftover porridge muffins.

:: Early Nights
I love to close the house up in the afternoon and eat early and get everyone tuckled into bed reading books and watching movies.

:: Milo
I should seriously take out shares in Milo with the amount we drink in winter. I can't keep up with buying it. We also love Hot Honey and Lemon. I need more winter drink ideas!

What are your favourite Winter tips?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

FHE Lesson {Journals}

Opening Song:   Families Can Be Together Forever #188

Opening Prayer: Child

When our kids were little we included journal writing as part of FHE to lengthen it out. They would draw what they did that week and we would write the words. I would also use the time to write baby's milestones, cute things they did. Just an idea to achieve two things at once. Perhaps our family should get back into it!


Gather any journals you may have around the house.

{we used our childhood journals, a one liner gratitude journal, missionary journals, little notes about the kids when they were babies, a few folders of letters and a folder containing wedding cards and birth congratulations - I may have put the angst ridden teen ones to the side :) }

Show examples of journals from you life. Read out several excerpts. I read funny things about me, notes about them as babies - first words, silly things they did. The children flicked through all the wedding cards and birth announcements. Share a spiritual experience you or an ancestor has written down in a journal.


Why is it important to keep a journal?
{you will never remember everything, so people can know about you after you have passed, you don't remember when you were a baby so its important for adults to write down for you, so you can see how you've changed, so you can see the hand of the Lord in your life, to show gratitude}

What things would you like people to remember about you?

What could you write in a journal?
{include friends names, places you visit, describe our home, fun things we do, family traditions, things you've learnt, when you're sad or happy, on your birthday, important dates like baptisms}

What things do we know about Ancestors because of things they wrote in a journal?

***Give each Child their own notebook to use as a journal.***

How often will you commit to writing in your journal?
{Sunday afternoons, During FHE, daily, weekly, monthly...}


Decorate your new journals
Start straight away with drawing and writing in the journals
Start a first page on a journal saying kids ages, grade at school, favourite things, where they live, best friends they have, best thing that has happened this year etc.
Look through past journals from family members

Closing Song: The Family #194

Closing Prayer:

Treat:  A favourite Treat
{and write it down in your journal, what your favourite treat is}

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